Friday, January 22, 2010
Book: Blind Faith
Author: Ben Elton
I've been sitting and staring at this draft (with only the above on it) for quite a few days now. Why? Because it's hard to explain how good a book this is.
I read it a while ago, and then asked to get it for Christmas. I got a good quality second hand copy- that's all I need.
Ben Elton is a British comedian who did/does stand up comedy, wrote many fantastic britcoms and is friends with Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson. He also writes novels: something that people might not know.
I think "Blind Faith" is my favourite Ben Elton novel, and I've read quite a few of them.
I like that it plays on many classic novels like 1984, Farenheit 451 and quite a few others, in its portrayal of the future, but makes it more 'relevant' for modern times (not that 1984 isn't still relevant, but he bases his dystopian future on a world that we, now, could fear happening).
I like that it's written in a way that is very readable, and entertainingly (in a non funny way). I like that it all seems so ridiculous, but at the same time possible. It makes me think about social networking, the internet, privacy, religion, and the nature of technology.
Without giving too much away, Blind Faith is set in the future, after a Flood that the citizens believe was a message from God to kill off people for their vanity and pride, however is clear from the start was the ice caps melting- the whole city is too hot as a result of global warming. Everyone is crowded in, and 50% of children die. There's also a lot of media everywhere, even little screens on coffee cups. People are constantly watched on webcams by fellow citizens, and are expected to watch other people as well. They're expected to blog and to read blogs, and to post up videos of all major life events. This is a matter of religion- you're taking pride in what God has given you. Similarly, you should not wear too many clothes, or that's not taking pride in the body God gave you. 'Disrespecting' someone is a crime that could get a mob after you very easily. Fiction is banned. Cake is good and therefore God must want you to eat more of it.
You are never alone.
And the main character lives in this world.
It sure makes me thankful for not joining Facebook.
I really, really, love this book.